U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
For Release: January 25, 2008
Elevated Arsenic Levels Discovered at Cactus Mine Site in Kern County
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has initiated preliminary actions at the Cactus mine site near Soledad Mountain in eastern Kern County to protect human health due to concerns about elevated levels of arsenic from mine tailings on both public and private lands.
A preliminary environmental assessment of the inactive heap leach gold mining operation site in the Soledad Mining District southwest of Mojave, Calif., has determined that the mine tailings have discharged offsite into the adjacent watershed. The unregulated releases of processed mine tailings are within a half mile of existing rural residences and transportation routes and could pose a potential health hazard to adjacent residents, according to BLM.
According to BLM officials, the main area of mill tailings is on BLM land while the adjacent open pit gold mine (Shumake Pit) is on private land. Areas subject to releases of arsenic-bearing tailings during storm events are on BLM public lands.
For further information contact the BLM’s Ridgecrest Field Office, 300 South Richmond Road, Ridgecrest, CA 93555, 760-384-5400.
California Desert District Office – 22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553- (951) 697-5217